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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

168.021 License plates for physically disabled persons.

Subdivision 1. Special plates; application. (a) When a motor vehicle registered under section 168.017, a motorcycle, a truck having a manufacturer's nominal rated capacity of one ton and resembling a pickup truck, or a self-propelled recreational vehicle is owned or primarily operated by a permanently physically disabled person or a custodial parent or guardian of a permanently physically disabled minor, the owner may apply for and secure from the registrar of motor vehicles (1) immediately, a temporary permit valid for 30 days, if the applicant is eligible for the special plates issued under this paragraph, and (2) two license plates with attached emblems, one plate to be attached to the front, and one to the rear of the vehicle. When the owner first applies for the plates, the owner must submit a physician's statement on a form developed by the commissioner under section 169.345, or proof of physical disability provided for in that section, except that no physician's statement or proof of disability is required when an owner applies for plates for one or more commercial motor vehicles that are specially modified for and used exclusively by permanently physically disabled persons.

(b) The owner of a motor vehicle may apply for and secure (i) immediately, a temporary permit valid for 30 days, if the person is eligible to receive the special plates issued under this paragraph, and (ii) a set of special plates for a motor vehicle if:

(1) the owner employs a permanently physically disabled person who would qualify for special plates under this section; and

(2) the owner furnishes the motor vehicle to the physically disabled person for the exclusive use of that person in the course of employment.

Subd. 1a. Scope of privilege. If a physically disabled person parks a vehicle displaying license plates described in this section, or a temporary permit valid for 30 days and issued to an eligible person awaiting receipt of the license plates described in this section, or any person parks the vehicle for a physically disabled person, that person shall be entitled to park the vehicle as provided in section 169.345.

Subd. 2. Design of plates; furnishing by registrar. The registrar of motor vehicles shall design and furnish two license number plates with attached emblems to each eligible owner. The emblem must bear the internationally accepted wheelchair symbol, as designated in section 16B.61, subdivision 5, approximately three inches square. The emblem must be large enough to be visible plainly from a distance of 50 feet. An applicant eligible for the special plates shall pay the motor vehicle registration fee authorized by law.

Subd. 2a. Plate return, transfer. (a) When vehicle ownership is transferred, the owner of the vehicle shall remove the special plates from the vehicle and return them to the registrar. The buyer of the vehicle shall repay the $1 credit for each month remaining in the registration period for which the special plates were issued. On returning the plates and repaying the remaining credit, the buyer is entitled to receive regular plates for the vehicle without further cost for the rest of the registration period.

(b) Notwithstanding section 168.12, subdivision 1, the special plates may be transferred to a replacement motor vehicle on notification to the registrar. However, the special plates may not be transferred unless the replacement motor vehicle (1) is registered under section 168.017 or is a self-propelled recreational vehicle, and (2) is owned or primarily operated by the permanently physically disabled person.

(c) The transferor shall not receive the $1 credit for each month the replacement vehicle is registered until the time of renewal or first application for registration on the replacement vehicle.

Subd. 2b. When not eligible. On becoming ineligible for the special plates, the owner of the vehicle shall remove the special plates and return them to the registrar. The owner shall repay the $1 credit for each month remaining in the registration period for which the special plates were issued. On returning the plates and repaying the remaining credit, the owner may receive regular plates for the vehicle without further cost for the rest of the registration period.

Subd. 3. Penalties for unauthorized use of plates. (a) A person who uses the plates or temporary permit provided under this section on a motor vehicle in violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is subject to a fine of $500. This subdivision does not preclude a person who is not physically disabled from operating a vehicle bearing the plates or temporary permit if:

(1) the person is the owner of the vehicle and permits its operation by a physically disabled person;

(2) the person operates the vehicle with the consent of the owner who is physically disabled; or

(3) the person is the owner of the vehicle, is the custodial parent or guardian of a permanently physically disabled minor, and operates the vehicle to transport the minor.

(b) A driver who is not disabled is not entitled to the parking privileges provided in this section and in section 169.346 unless parking the vehicle for a physically disabled person.

Subd. 4. Fees; disposition. All fees collected from the sale of plates under this section shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of the highway user tax distribution fund.

Subd. 5. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the term "physically disabled person" has the meaning given it in section 169.345.

Subd. 6. Driver's license law not affected. Nothing in this section shall be construed to revoke, limit, or amend chapter 171.

Subd. 7. Repealed, 1987 c 355 s 10

HIST: 1953 c 152 s 1-6; 1965 c 51 s 21; 1975 c 217 s 1; 1976 c 19 s 1,2; 1977 c 205 s 2; 1979 c 225 s 1; 1979 c 277 s 1-3; 1983 c 117 s 1; 1983 c 216 art 1 s 27; 1985 c 291 s 12; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 355 s 1-6; 1987 c 384 art 2 s 1; 1989 c 234 s 1,2; 1990 c 497 s 4; 1991 c 301 s 1; 1993 c 98 s 1-3; 1996 c 435 s 5; 1999 c 25 s 1; 1999 c 238 art 2 s 6